"There's only one Sean O'Driscoll," was the chant that reverberated around Ashton Gate at the start of this match, yet those cries of support came not from the Bristol City fans, but from their Nottingham Forest counterparts ahead of another miserable defeat.
Forest's supporters have had four managers in charge of their team so far this season and the latest, the returning Billy Davies, decided not to watch this loss from the stands. Davies, who officially takes charge on Monday, instead sent David Kelly, fresh from departing Walsall as assistant manager, to cast his eye over proceedings.
Kelly cannot have been impressed. Forest have limped through the campaign after the al-Hasawi family's decision to sack O'Driscoll in December and replace him with Alex McLeish, who lasted only 40 days in the job. In the build-up to this match, O'Driscoll insisted he was not looking for revenge, with his former assistant Rob Kelly again taking caretaker charge of Forest, and that his only focus was three points in City's battle against relegation. However, this victory, secured by second-half goals from Steven Davies and Marvin Elliott, will surely have been his sweetest in some time.
"It's ironic. It happens a lot in football, when you leave one club and the next week you play them," said O'Driscoll. "They've got they're own problems – they've got a fantastic club, with a fantastic fanbase and some fantastic players, what they need now is fantastic owners.
"We had a good relationship with the supporters and a good relationship with the players, unfortunately not a good relationship with the owners."
Forest might have been in front after four minutes had Dexter Blackstock made more decisive contact with the ball inside the six-yard box, after a low cross from the left wing. However, the striker failed to capitalise on a slick interchange between Andy Reid and Billy Sharp by completely miscuing his effort. He was guilty of a more embarrassing miss after 25 minutes. Dan Harding cut inside the penalty area down the left and sent a fine ball to the far post with the outside of his foot, only for Blackstock to head on to the top of the crossbar and over from five yards out.
City came closest to scoring in the first half when the Forest keeper, Karl Darlow, palmed away Jon Stead's low drive from 20 yards out, while Paul Anderson failed to punish his former club shortly before half-time.
Things soon livened up in the second half. Sharp had the ball in the back of the net after Adlène Guedioura's fierce 30-yard drive, but was correctly flagged offside and City took full advantage in the 50th minute. A corner was flicked on at the near post to Davies, who shifted the ball out of his feet, beat his man with ease and guided a shot past Darlow, with the help of a deflection.
Stephen Pearson then whipped in a fine free-kick from the right flank in the 62nd minute, which was met by the head of City captain Elliott, who outjumped his marker and doubled the lead as Forest disintegrated.
Rob Kelly was unsure why Davies had decided not to attend the game, but expects the new manager to spark a recovery. "It's about finding that balance and formula, and maybe someone coming in cold and detached can look at it more dispassionately," he said. "He's got good staff and Bill will have been at a game today. He'll have a copy of the game and I would think he's been burning the midnight oil since he was appointed." Forest's supporters, though, wait with bated breath for another changing of the guard.